Lunar New Year road toll drops to 18, remains concern

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A traffic accident between two cars in Sihanoukville on January 22. POLICE

Over the course of the three-day Lunar New Year 2023 holiday, 18 people were killed and 65 others sustained injuries in road traffic accidents across the country, according to a report by the National Police’s Public Order and Traffic Police Department.

The department’s data showed that on the first day of Lunar New Year, January 21, five traffic accidents occurred, resulting in three deaths. 14 people were injured, four of them seriously. The second day saw 20 traffic accidents, resulting in five deaths and 33 injuries. On the third day, 15 road traffic accidents occurred, killing 10 and injuring 18.

“The death toll over the three-day Lunar New Year 2023 holiday has dropped by seven, with six less injuries, compared to last year’s festive period. In 2022, the holiday saw 25 deaths and 71 injuries, 49 of them serious,” said the report.

Department deputy head Thay Visal renewed his calls for all road users to obey the road rules in order to reduce the accident rates, which all too often led to deaths and life-changing injuries.

“Obedience of the road traffic laws amounts to respecting one’s own life. Please, do not break the speed limit. Don’t attempt to pass other vehicles in dangerous conditions, and definitely do not drive under the influence of alcohol. We must all demonstrate mutual respect for one another when we are on the road,” he said.

Citing reports from across the country, he said that the leading causes of traffic accidents were mechanical factors, dangerous overtaking and drunk driving.

“Although the rates of traffic accident-related deaths and injuries over the Lunar New Year have dropped compared to the past year, these figures are still high and remain a concern,” said Kim Pagna, country director of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP).

“It is important that all road users obey traffic laws. A wider public education campaign is needed to ensure that it reaches all of the Kingdom’s road users,” he added